Easter never quite reaches the fever pitch of the Christmas hoopla, which is great because it gives Christians a chance to focus on the religion of the holiday rather than the commercialism.
Still, it’s tough to really sit down with kids who are excited about Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies to talk about the meaning of Easter. So this year I spent several hours (while eating Cadbury Mini-Eggs, of course) creating a week’s worth of lessons and activities to do with my kids as we commemorate the last week of Jesus Christ’s life.
So in a little different post today, here is what I came up with, and I would love to hear how you bring Christ into Easter in your home.
For the lessons on these daily activities, you can use the scriptures that tell that day’s Easter story, or we will be using a children’s book titled “The Very First Easter.” I will also be using images from the Gospel Art Book from the LDS Church, but images to accompany lessons can easily be found online.
Thought: Read “Following the Savior’s Path” by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Read Matthew 21:6-11
Activity: Make Palm fronds out of green construction paper. Discuss what you might shout instead of Hosanna if you saw Jesus. How can you praise Jesus in other ways? Also, put a white carnation in water with red dye. Instruct children to watch what happens throughout the week to the water and the flower, and how it might relate to Jesus and Easter.
Thought: One of the final things Jesus taught his disciples was to love one another. Read John 13:34-35 and discuss its meaning.
Activity: Make an Easter tree on construction paper. Decorate your tree with pictures from magazines that represent the love Jesus has for us, how we can show our love for Jesus, or how we can show our love for others. Include pictures that remind you of Jesus or of other people you love.
Thought: On Tuesday, Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem to teach. After he left the temple, he and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives where Christ told them several parables. What is a parable?
Read the following parables and decide what Jesus was trying to teach with each one:
- Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13)
- Talents (Matthew 25 14:30)
- Widow’s Mite (Mark 12:41-44)
Activity: The Widow’s Mite. Decorate an Offering Can and write on slips of paper what you could give to Jesus.
Thought: On Thursday, Jesus had the Last Supper with his Apostles. Discuss what took place at that dinner. Read John 13:22
Activity: Take turns washing each other’s feet. Discuss how it made you feel and what Jesus was trying to teach the Apostles.
Thought: Sit in a park or garden to discuss what took place in the Garden of Gethsemane. (We will be reading “In the Garden” by Caralyn Buehner)
Activity: Look at how the white carnation has changed (Parents: make sure the water is also clear so the analogy makes sense). Discuss how it could symbolize Jesus. It was perfect and white and so was able to soak up the dye and leave the water clear. Discuss how the Atonement makes it possible for us to repent and for Jesus to make us clean. Discuss how he felt all of our sadness, anger and sins so that we could return to Heavenly Father.
Thought: Discuss the events that took place on Friday including the trial, the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus.
Activity: Discuss why they put Jesus’ body in a stone tomb. Try to move a large stone or boulder and discuss how hard it would be to move it.
Thought: Discuss how Jesus’ friends waited and looked for signs that he would rise again.
Activity: Go on a scavenger hunt looking for signs of spring and rebirth.
Thought: Read Matthew 28: 2-4
Activity: Make Resurrection Rolls found here.
Activity: Discuss what happened after Christ’s resurrection. Focus on the ascension into Heaven.
Activity: Order the events of Easter Week on the activity found at the bottom of the page here.
How do you bring the spirit of Easter into your home?